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Paper Trufflez: Just say "No", Part I

I edited the post linked above to illustrate hot-linking.  These examples can be seen beneath my signature in that post.

For those that need a little more clarification on a few things:

Image theft involves using or displaying an image (i.e. a photograph that is NOT one you yourself created/took with your camera) found at one website  at another website without the image (or content) owner's consent.

(the above has been edited to better clarify what image theft is)

When you make a card inspired by a design you saw somewhere online, upload it at your site/blog, and also include the URL to the original work, in order to credit that artist and so people can go directly to their site to view that piece, you are not stealing anything.  You are attributing the source of your inspiration.  This is always greatly, and joyfully appreciated!

I can't speak for all, but, many artists prefer that images from their site not be copied and transmitted via email; they prefer that the URL be provided so folks can go directly to the source and view the image there.  I always link, rather than pasting someone else's image into an email.

Bandwidth: In basic terms, bandwidth is a measurement of data passing through a transmission path or network connection.  The more bandwidth you have, the more data you can transfer.

Not all blog hosting services are free.  Mine is not!  I pay for it.  I pay for a certain amount of bandwidth each month.  But, if the bandwidth used at my blog exceeds the limit, I am also billed for the extra bandwidth used beyond that.  I get X amount for X dollars.  Any time it goes over, I am billed for the overage.

Bandwidth theft involves the deliberate use of additional code that "relays" the file location of an image where it really is hosted/exists, to make it visible on another site (rather than just the URL alone).  I actually didn't know the code myself–I had to go research and find it, in order to hot-link Jerri and Jenn's images for my illustration.

Websites that hot-link images and content (sometimes referred to as "para-sites" as in a parasite) from my site/blog are using, and taking advantage, of my bandwidth (not their own) at my expense (I paid for it, and will end up also paying the overage if they cause any by hot-linking),  to deliver (display) that information (which they did not create or produce) to their readers over at their site. 

It can be likened to siphoning gas from someone else's car, and putting it into your own car, if that makes sense?

What it all boils down to, is if you want to use someone else's images and content at your site, simple courtesy (not to mention copyright law), dictates that you ask permission to do so. 

And, as I previously stated:   "Ultimately, the answer lies in all of us, by keeping in mind how our actions impact other individuals, and to treat each other with courtesy."

  Happy Turkey Day!


Link:  Just Say "No", Part III

  1. We (my pixel artists friends) have run into this in the pixel world quite a bit. We’ve had to resort to protecting our images with a no right click script and HTML protection. Very sad.

  2. WOW – I had no idea how stressed some people get keeping a blog. I guess using things like Google Reader is actually better after all. You might not get the increasing blog hits that so many people covet, but it doesn’t hike your bandwidth price if it is something you have chosen to pay for!

  3. This was a very imformative couple of posts. Thanks Julie! I pay a TON for my blog and it’s nice to let people know that it’s better to ask permission to use a photo and then post it yourself rather than to use hotlinking.
    Thanks again- so very much! :)

  4. Julie, nice post and very fairly written. I’m a “hot linker” and before your post, I didn’t realize that it cost anyone money — I was using pictures (with permission), but doing it by linking so that if the artist ever had to pull a picture because it was published, it pulled from my site too. I thought it was a convenience for everyone — not as theft. The artist’s blog information was not only listed in my posts, but embedded into the hot link so that Google would index it and give the proper “link love” to the artist. You definitely changed how I will link photos in the future — I’ll ask how they want it done, etc. I’m glad you guys brought this to my attention.

    On a side note, if bandwidth issues are a problem for you, please check out this post — http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000807.html

    You can upload your own images to a image hosting service and hotlink them back to save your bandwidth.

    Another big bandwidth suck is RSS feeds — which can be forwarded to save you the suck on your own bandwidth. I know this would help with the inspiration challenges and provide your readers and easy way to play without feeling like they were hurting your pocketbook.

    You do a great job or providing great inspiration to so many of us — hope these tips help save you some money so you’ll keep the inspiration coming!

  5. So its cool to adda link, and its ok to copy and paste a pic with the owners blessing – but its BAD to add a funny little code which will use the other bandwidth…..

    So please tell me if I am wrong it is like having 3 lamps on in your house (the lamps are the pictures and the house is your blog), 2 you are paying for through your own electricity account and the other is powered by an extension cord running from the neighbours?

    Yeah I know – weird example but It makes sense to me this way – but am I right??? If I am – PHEW!!!! I have never done that!!

  6. After reading Becky Oehler’s blog, I now get it. I’ve never done that and haven’t read any blogs (yet) that have but have gotten the “exceeds bandwidth” notice when I’ve tried to access Becky’s blog so I can see where that can be a problem. There are always a few who can ruin it for many. The stamping community is one of the most generous in terms of sharing talent and information. Let’s all try to keep it that way and be respectful of ownership of talent.

  7. I hope you have a wonderful weekend…and please remember the GOOD things about stamping and blogging! :D

  8. Thank you for this post and the one before it, Julie. I appreciate all of your hard work and reserch to bring this to our attention! Hvae a lovely Thanksgiving! Tinla:)

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